Sagebrush Trail (1933)

Passed   |    |  Action, Drama, Romance


Sagebrush Trail (1933) Poster

The Duke is wrongly convicted for a killing, but he escapes from prison and heads out west to find the real killer.


5.4/10
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14 January 2007 | Chance2000esl
7
| The Best "Lone Star" Western! A landmark!
Many of these 30s low budget westerns start with the "hero wrongly accused of a crime" premise, finally discovering, catching up with and gunning down the real killer; but this one is clearly not only the best 'Lone Star' western, but is, in fact, an enjoyable, well made film, with themes, photography, locations, and stunt work you won't find in hundreds of other 'oaters.'

You'll find at least four different versions out, from the discount b/w (the VINA and who knows how many other $2.00 single film DVD copies; the Platinum "Great American Western" Volume 35 version -- which at least has three other westerns on one DVD) to the new colorized versions, including the excellent digitally restored 23-minute Sterling version with a new, modernized soundtrack -- which just zooms by). There's a reason for all this -- it's a landmark film!

Basically, the theme is not far from the mythic: the good guy (John Wayne) befriends the man who put him in prison (Lane Chandler with equal screen time), and helps him redeem himself. You get underwater photography of John Wayne escaping the sheriff; the zoom in shot of the Sheriff beside the wanted posters of Conlon and Brant, fading into a shot of them facing each other; the extensive location shots of Bronson Canyon and the Bronson 'Cave,' which has been seen in dozens of serial, western, horror and SF films (including the 1956 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers') that show all three entrances, as well as how to get up to the Canyon; the unbelievable stunt work by Yakima Canutt, including leaping up on a hitching post and over a horse to land on another horse, flying and running horse mounts; and the great acting of John Wayne -- I'm not kidding! Kudos to the director and screen writer!

A great introduction to, and high watermark of, 1930s westerns!

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